Flying the bike - what to do with luggage?
Given that our panniers will be full of camping gear, clothes, spares etc and tool tube attached to pannier frame etc etc I'm wondering what on earth happens to all that stuff when you fly the bike somewhere e.g. UK to USA.
I'm hoping it all just stays on the bike and can't imagine having to take it all off and check it in on the flight.
Also curious as to what to do with things like crash helmets etc?
Anyone like to share their experiences or offer advice.
Pack it all on the pallet/crate.
Including crash helmet.
Ready for Cape Town to London.
Dismantling done by me. Supply of pallet, and strapping and packing done by the freight agent.
As has been demonstrated if flying or shipping crated in a container your luggage can go with your bike, the only exception I have found is the ro-ro service from UK to Canada where panniers have to be left unlocked and empty. The reason given is customs don't like it but I suspect it might be because of fear of pilfering by loaders or crew, either way it is a nuisance as luggage has to be carried on your flight, even I, mr. minimalist struggled to get it down to the allowance, apart from that it was an excellent service and very easy, if you are heading to north America I can recommend it.
You might be asked for a list of contents and their value, for customs, as I was in Kenya.
This was no problem for me as I always carry a detailed packing list... with very low value assessment on all my stuff to make my luggage less attractive to thieves or some ridiculous import/export tax.
Another reason I carry this is if I get stopped by a very eager customs or police officer, wanting me to unpack everything to view their contents, this list may be enough for them...
One solution: Pack all your personal stuff - riding gear, clothing, other personal possessions etc - into something like a 90L Skypak travel bag, which goes with you on the plane as your checked-in baggage. Folds away into a comparitively tiny 0.6kg pack at the other end. Remember that you're entitled to at least > 23kg (each) as checked-in baggage. Why waste this free allowance and instead get billed with additional volumetric charge for the bike?
[Fragile] helmet sits inside the tank bag and accompanies you as your onboard carry-on luggage. Place all valuable items - camera, GPS unit etc - inside and around the helmet. I must have 'carried-on' my helmet this way with at least 20+ different airline carriers and I've never been challenged or had this queried by any security officer.
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